It's Never Too Late

December 1, 2020


It's Never Too Late
By: Kathie Lee Gifford
224 Pages

Former Today show host Kathie Lee Gifford draws on stories from her remarkable life to weave together a beautiful reminder that whatever circumstances we face, God is still dreaming big for our years ahead.

When Kathie Lee Gifford stepped down as cohost of the fourth hour of the Today show with Hoda Kotb, you might have thought her best days were behind her. It turns out, she was just getting started. As Kathie Lee says, “I’m not retiring; I’m refiring!”

Taking us from her Chesapeake Bay childhood when she first heard God’s calling, to her skyrocketing fame with Regis, to her decision to leave television for Nashville, Kathie Lee inspires us to pursue what really matters. Because it’s never too late to forgive, to dance the cha-cha, or to make a difference in the world.

This book felt like Kathie Lee was sitting down with you and going through photo albums and briefly chatting about each memory. It was fun to read. She was honest and lighthearted. She was vulnerable and humble. She was open about her faith and the times her faith was tested. While she didn't do a bare her sole type of giving you information, she gave you everything you needed to connect with that particular memory. 

I've always admired her strength. I may not have followed her life and career very closely, but I was aware of enough to know the woman has seen her share of rough times. I remember her being accused to knowingly running sweatshops. I was also there to see how she responded to the charge. I was aware of it when her husband's adultery, and the plot surrounding it. I was also aware enough to see how she tackled it. Within this book, she walks you through all of this and more. You see how her faith in God helped her keep her course- even when that course was more difficult to stick to than walk away from. You see how she conducted herself behind the scenes, where it truly counted. 

It was a pleasure to read this book. I respected her in the days these events happened, and I respect her all the more now. I respect that she was open about the good, bad, heartbreaking, and anger inducing. The truth is, none of us are guaranteed to escape some of the things Kathie Lee faced. Her dignity, poise, and focus on what really matters is something we can all learn from. 

Premeditated Mortar


Premeditated Mortar
By: Kate Carlisle
304 pages

Shannon Hammer is about to embark on one of the biggest projects of her career. Her best friend Jane Hennessey has purchased one wing of the Gables, formerly the old state insane asylum, located on a bucolic hillside two miles northeast of Lighthouse Cove. Jane plans to turn her section into a small luxury hotel complete with twenty ocean-view rooms, a spa, and a restaurant.

Shannon is raring to get started on the enormous project and is shocked when a group of unruly protesters shows up at the groundbreaking ceremony and wreaks havoc. She’s even more freaked-out when someone pushes her into a pit of bricks in a closed-off room of the asylum. Despite her close call, Shannon wants nothing more than to get back to work . . . until she finds a body not far from where she was pushed. Now Shannon is determined to get to the bottom of the goings-on at the Gables even if it kills her. . . .

I have to admit that it's been several books since I've read this series. I meant to keep up with it, but life being life, it didn't happen. I left the series off at book 2, and here we are with book 8. If you're new to the series, have no concern. As I read this book, I never felt holes or gaps from previous installments in the series. The author keeps you in the loop of anything you may have learned in the books leading up to it. 

Shannon's best friend, Jane, has very personal reasons for renovating her wing of the mental institution: her mother was a patient within the same wing. So she's determined to turn a sad and dark location into one that is loving and welcoming. However, the protestors have different feelings. They'd much rather see in no longer exist at all. As the story unfolds, you learn why they feel the way they do. You also learn the protestors are connected to the asylum and how. You learn how the asylum began as a great place, but a change of hands changed all of that. You get to know several of the protestors and their stories. You discover the dark side of the person who took over and her approach to treating mental illness. Not to mention the scars it leaves behind on those who endured it, or watched it unfold. I felt Kate Carlisle did a great job of telling this dark and twisted story, but in a way that wasn't overwhelming or approaching thriller level. I was definitely gripped to the plot and seeing how it unfold further. 

I have to say that cozy mysteries usually don't tackle these types of subjects. While this book focused more on the characters and their lives, I did enjoy the mental health storyline. In fact, I wish Kate Carlisle went a little more into that part of the story than the characters. I enjoyed the book and revisiting these characters. I plan to read the books in between where I left off and this one in the new year. 


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